Substance abuse can easily and rapidly destroy lives – and not just the lives of those who are abusing drugs, but also the lives of everyone around them. In the midst of extreme turmoil and confusion, family members and loved ones often struggle to find help for the substance abuser, trying hard to resolve the patterns and phases of addiction in order to save a life. They may wonder why the individual cannot see the damages he is doing to self and others, and why he cannot simply stop his drug use or get the help he needs. It can be difficult for adults to understand addiction, but it is even more difficult for young children.
A young child who is raised in a household with a substance abuser may not fully comprehend that something is wrong. They may watch the substance abuser ride the dwindling spiral of addiction without understanding that they are watching the destruction of someone’s life. Sadly enough, even if they do understand that something is horribly wrong, the child can’t even begin to help the substance abuser address and resolve their problems.
Saving a sibling
Deborah was seven years old when she first saw her sister doing drugs. Patricia was sixteen years old and shooting up heroin, and Deborah didn’t understand what she was seeing. A year later Patricia contracted Hepatitis B from a dirty needle and was admitted to the hospital. Deborah remembers seeing her sister’s yellow skin and sickly appearance, but she still didn’t understand what was going on.
As Deborah grew through her adolescence and early adulthood, she truly began to understand that her sister was a substance abuser, and her was life dictated and driven by dangerous drug use that had the potential to end her life at any time. Patricia’s drug use continued for over thirty years, until she was almost fifty years old. Her family enrolled her in many different rehabilitation treatment centers with no lasting result, Patricia leaving program after program and relapsing immediately into drug use.
Deborah began to understand that her sister was running out of time, and that there was a good chance Patricia would lose her life to drugs if something didn’t change soon. While home alone with her five year-old daughter Patricia overdosed on Oxycontin and Deborah’s parents agreed that something had to change. Deborah had found out about Narconon Arrowhead and with her parent’s help enrolled Patricia in the program.
Through her Narconon rehabilitation program, Patricia withdrew from all drug use and cleansed three decades of residual drug toxins from her body with a sauna detoxification program. No longer driven by cravings, Patricia was able to spot and take responsibility for her initial drug use and the damages it had caused.
The causes and physical effects of Patricia’s drug use finally resolved, she moved on into the life skills courses that would enable her to lead a healthy, productive, happy future. Patricia became fully aware of her present environment and able to act within it instead of living in the guilt and embarrassment of the past. She learned how to spot dangerous personalities that could drive her into making poor decisions, and how to improve conditions in her own life. She learned the basic rules that would allow her to live happily and set and achieve her own goals.
Patricia completed the Narconon program and has been entirely drug-free for over eight years now. Deborah is certain that Narconon saved her sister’s life, in effect saving her entire family. She is now a happy, healthy mother to her children, a kind and loving daughter to her parents, and most importantly the supportive, considerate sister Deborah has always wanted.